Jon Hamm thinks 'Top Gun: Maverick' has struck the right balance between nostalgia and originality.

The 51-year-old actor portrays Vice Admiral Beau 'Cyclone' Simpson in the long-awaited follow-up to 1986's 'Top Gun' and he thinks the movie offers something for both fans of the first film and also newcomers to the franchise.

He said: "It’s so redolent of the first film and hits all those nostalgic elements, but it really does stand on its own. The interesting thing about coming back to a truly beloved property after so much time is that there’s two generations of kids who have never seen the original movie.

"If they have, they saw it on cable or something, but they didn’t have the experience of going to see it in a theatre. So for this generation, this is a brand new thing, and ['Top Gun: Maverick'] is going to be what the original was to its generation."

The movie's release has been much delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Jon thinks that has only served to build "expectation and anticipation" for the project.

He told The Hollywood Reporter: "My 15-year-old self is blown away, as is my 51-year-old self. I’m on both sides of that equation.

"It was a tremendous experience made more interesting by the fact that it had to be put on hold and paused for two years.

"The unintended consequence of that is that it built expectation and anticipation. Paramount knew that they had something really good.

"Tom [Cruise] certainly knew that he had something really good. At various points during shooting, he would grab me and go, 'You gotta come see this,' and he would take me to his trailer to show me ten minutes of raw footage. And I was like, 'Oh my god, I’ve never seen anything like this.' "

The former 'Mad Men' star praised lead actor Tom for the way he was able to "energise" the whole set.

He said: "When you walk onto the set of a Tom Cruise movie, you know exactly where Tom Cruise is at all times. It’s usually because he’s right there in your face, smiling and welcoming you to the set.

"His enthusiasm is so incredibly obvious, but it’s also incredibly infectious. It energises the whole set. So, yes, Tom is as advertised, as they say."